7 Pieces of Career Advice from Success Stories

What do Lady Gaga, Steve Jobs and Warren Buffet have in common?  Their success stories all contain wisdom for undergrads starting out in the real world! Read on for some best tips from some of the best success stories.

The following article is originally from HerCampus.com and has been modified  for this blog.

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1. Steve Jobs: “You’ve got to find what you love.”
You’ve heard it time and again: find something you love and pursue it. Steve Jobs was taking a risk when he dropped out of Reed College and started Apple in his parents’ basement, but three decades later, he found himself at the top of a multi-billion dollar company that probably produced your computer screen. In his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, Jobs didn’t speak so much about talent or resources or GPA, but instead told the graduates “to have the courage to follow your heart and intuition… everything else is secondary.”

2. Jennifer Hudson: Success is rarely instant.
Try to remember way back when American Idolactually mattered to the public and Jennifer Hudson was a contestant. She was eliminated before she even reached the top six singers of season 3—and yet, in the long run, she managed to outperform most of the show’s winners from every season. She’s won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Dreamgirls, released a Grammy-winning debut album and landed several more roles in movies like Sex and the City and The Secret Life of Bees. Learn from Hudson’s story and don’t give up just because you weren’t noticed right away; keep working hard and you’ll earn recognition.

3. Mark Zuckerberg: Build and keep a solid network.
Creator Mark Zuckerberg has not only created an extensive network for the world, but for himself as well. Soon after finishing his sophomore year of college, he made connections with technology moguls like Sean Parker of Napster, Peter Thiel of PayPal, and Steve Chen, who later co-founded YouTube. And while Facebook was a smart idea to begin with, these people gave Zuckerberg the tools to materialize it and build the entrepreneurial empire he has today. Keep your eyes open and don’t be afraid to meet new people.

4. Barbara Walters: Keep your personal and professional lives separate.
Regarded today as a journalism icon and one of the world’s most influential women, Barbara Walters has dealt with the drama of marrying and divorcing four times, suffering three miscarriages, and raising a daughter off camera.  Walters kept it classy and managed her personal life without letting it interfere with her professional life, a skill that can help anyone’s career.

5. Barack Obama: No barrier is unbreakable.
No matter your political standing, you’ve got to admit that President Obama has made history by breaking the race barrier in the White House. Take his story as proof that you can take your career as far as you’d like it to go—no matter who has or hasn’t done so before you.

6. Warren Buffett: Be modest.
Warren Buffett has bragging rights others can only dream of: a net worth upwards of 60 billion dollars, a position as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and a standing as one of the wealthiest and most successful businessmen in the world. But despite his legendary status among investors, he is known and admired for his personal frugality, a career lesson we may not immediately consider but one to keep in mind. Buffett has nothing to prove and gets a lot of respect for his attitude. Celebrate your achievements, but skip the boasting. Your success will speak for itself.

7. Lady Gaga: Give back.
This year Lady Gaga topped Forbes’ Celebrity 100 and scored the eleventh spot in the magazine’s World’s Most Powerful Women list. Not only is she a favorite in the entertainment industry, but she is also quite the philanthropist. Gaga has become involved in various charities and benefits for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, HIV/AIDS, United States immigration laws, and LGBTQ discrimination. And while the main function of Gaga’s philanthropy is benevolence, she has also broadened her fan base and gained respect from the public for her generosity. What’s the lesson here? It’s okay to be ambitious, but don’t forget the human side of things. Keep others in mind and they’ll do the same for you, too.

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